Select photography contributed by Washington DC photographer Aaron Clamage
Since its founding in 1994, CHANGE has:
- Advocated for increased funding of voluntary family planning programs and services
- Exposed the detrimental effects of funding restrictions through face-to-face meetings between policy makers and women from Africa, Latin America, and Asia
- Trained and mobilized U.S. grassroots leaders to be a voice for change in U.S. foreign policy debates that affect sexual and reproductive health and rights
The U.S. government’s ability to stem global health epidemics hinges on confronting the gender inequalities that threaten the health and rights of women and girls. CHANGE advocates for a foreign policy that is woman-centered, human rights-based, integrated, and above all, proven to positively impact the basic human rights and wellbeing of women and girls worldwide. We focus our efforts in three areas:
Using research, facts, and evidence from the field, CHANGE educates U.S. policy makers about the importance of U.S. support for comprehensive approaches to sexual and reproductive health, and the impact that restrictions on U.S. funding for family planning, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS have on health interventions and human rights.
CHANGE monitors policy development, funding streams, program implementation and impact, and emerging field research to inform and hold the U.S. government accountable for its policy and funding decisions.
Outreach and Constituency Building
CHANGE conducts U.S. foreign policy education and advocacy trainings, and mobilizes its grassroots network of women’s and student groups, HIV/AIDS activists, faith-based organizations, and reproductive justice advocates at key moments to influence policy decisions.
Why Women and Girls?
The world has already developed a consensus on women’s importance to development. For decades, the global community has responded to the notable efforts of the global women’s movement and has moved away from demographic centered population and development policies toward putting human rights and women’s equality at the center. At the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the United States joined a clear consensus that stated that “[t]he empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is a highly important end in itself. In addition it is essential for the achievement of sustainable development.”
CHANGE believes women and girls should be central to U.S. sexual and reproductive health policy, not because they are more deserving or more vulnerable than men--rather, we believe that women must be equal partners in each society’s governance and development, both because it is their right and because sustainable global development cannot occur without their energy and ideas. Additionally, because of their multiple roles as family caregivers, community activists, and civil society leaders, women have critical insight on human needs that cannot be excluded from development planning.
Men and boys are key partners in this effort. Their needs and wellbeing are also undermined by gender stereotypes, and they have a great deal at stake in ending gender-based violence, lowering maternal mortality, and ensuring healthy lives for women and girls.
See CHANGE's Policy Brief A Woman-Centered Approach to the U.S. Global Health Initiative